Sam

Tap & Jazz

In Dance on February 1, 2016 at 11:55 pm

Tap

I wasn’t going to write anything but in both of tonight’s classes we had something new, and that often make me very excited, just the prospect of learning new things.

It was only two days ago when we had the show, it felt like ages! I was in surprisingly good shape, no aches or pain – the conditioning really helped me I guess. The only thing I had were the eye lid twitches – lack of sleep, I’m really hating my pillow at the moment, it’s a lump of unpleasantness.

I was eager to get going again and embrace the normality, a nice mix of medium exercises got us back on track, I fared badly with my left turning cramprolls – tick. We were suddenly introduced to a NEW variation of step-pickup-heel… instead of going straight back, we cross over the front foot and step out sideways instead, rinse and repeat, add speed! It was quite a mind-bender but I loved it! This was incorporated into the routine later which kept bamboozling me, I’ll get it by next week!

The routine was really fun, a very pacey rock track and lots of enjoyable moves – I never remember the song but I wanted more! We also did something else instead of wings by the barre, they were – no heel pickups, no heel pickup heel, and tap-step no heel pickup heel. Something different to keep it fresh, thanks Ailsa!

I felt tired after an hour of pounding about in high tempo, I was perspiring like Niagara Falls, fine by me… I love a good workout.

Jazz

I have missed a couple of lessons I think, or was it just the one? In any case the number in attendance tripled or maybe even quadrupled! I was huffing and puffing already and Studio 2 was too warm for my liking, we stood in a big circle and dived right into aerobic-like exercises, it was followed by stretching, plenty of positions that milked more water out of my body. All brand new!

Grace upped her game, I think Christmas gave her time to plan out her lessons, it was a tough warm-up and despite dragging my feet around a little I still had a blast. I may look like I’m protesting but I was up for the challenge! We worked on some very interesting bits of a routine, there’s cohesion and it will be revisited next time, that’s a good plan.

The across the room was ok, we just worked on our arms and leg coordination. The routine was brief, hard and enjoyable… I struggled on arms but nothing I can’t iron out. I felt like it was a new class, Grace and her infectious, explosive energy got us hooked and those whooshy sound she make is brilliant! I’m already looking forward to the next one, it’ll be my new Monday night super workout!

Saturday Night Show Time 7

In Dance on January 30, 2016 at 11:55 pm

Last time I couldn’t believe I did six, now I can’t believe I did seven!

All the dancing in January were built up to this point, to this one evening. It felt rather special you know, maybe it’s the lucky seven or the fact the people involved were special. It’s been one cracking day, I am absolutely drained but felt compelled to write about this before I slip into bed.

It started well for me, I had a decent lie-in and felt relaxed with all three routines I was doing – there was a minor blip when my friend told me she couldn’t make it, her knees swelled up. I thought about her positioning and didn’t think it affected us too much, it’s a shame she couldn’t make it, I hope she gets well soon but as the saying go, the show must go on!

I tucked into a hearty lunch and was at the place by 3pm, we had the Rhythm2Dance dress rehearsal before everyone else – well, that was the plan but everyone else walked in before we got started. It was well received, personally I thought it was a very slow piece to dance to, but people liked it.

Soon the R2D gang left and I stayed for Tap and Contemporary, it went fine – the early nerves dissipated once I got going, I’m always nervous at first but it’s normal, this was my seventh time! And I’ve been telling people five or six. Like all show days, time went fast and even faster for me as I raced around the building rehearsing between Studio 2 and the tucked-away Green Room. I had no time for break and food, my stomach started grumbling even before the show – I was grateful for a couple of people offering me peanuts and a cereal bar! That shut my stomach up a little.

We rehearsed the entire run in Studio 2 again, sorted out our new positions for the missing person. That went good, again another good reception – we had 15 minutes before the show start, I managed to slip downstairs for one last rehearsal with R2D, I was quite aware of the time and by sheer coincidence I walked out of Green Room in time with Contemporary waiting to go on backstage. Joined up and… on we went! By then I had very little nerve, been too busy to think about it and was too buzzed to worry, it was a case of one down, three to go! Again, the reception was good… we did a good job!

I got changed into my Tap gear and rested… that was probably the only period I had a chance to sit down. We had one more run through our piece and mostly I caught up with everyone, I was in three groups so my time had to be divided equally! It wasn’t a long break, soon we were down and back for number 2. I think it went ok, I didn’t have any big issues except during entry point, probably got thrown off because we came on too soon. Not a big deal, the rest of the routine went well and YES, even with the Maxi Fords. The ending was smooth and it was good for me, I did hear one of the girls didn’t do too well but I’ve no idea, I’m sure she’s fine but I guess only the video will tell.

I ran up to get changed and ran back down to rejoin R2D, we weren’t going to miss the slot this time. We missed earlier rehearsal when I went to fetch them but they took their time about it. I had to get across how imperative it was to rush out, the show won’t stop for anyone. You can’t be slow about it! I’m sure D will be quicker next time!

The last one was incredible. The initial slow dance took a lot out of my already knackered body, I think it went well and I got all the steps correct and with panache. The party started after the initial routine – the freestyle bit involved the audience and by my surprise, everyone sunk their teeth into it. Literally the whole audience joined into the arm waving, the engineers even turned the lights on so we can see what was happening! It was an amazing sight and gave everybody a real buzz on the stage, it’s quite a scene to see every single person waving their arms and joining in. It felt like ages but maybe just a couple of minutes, sweat was pouring from my head but to see the audience so happy made my day, apparently the Tappers, Contemporary, the teachers all joined in.

The applause was rapturous, I was just glad it was over, not that I didn’t enjoy it – I was just far too tired to carry on! We assembled at the bar, I mingled with everyone, Ailsa and Karen praised us. I finally had a chance to relax and catch up. I had a few random people telling me I was good – nice confidence booster, they were strangers walking by or I made eye contact with. I didn’t think I was but thanks! I could be so much better, I need to push my standard even higher.

Bar time came to an end and R2D went to Briton’s Protection, I joined them with SW and her partner J, we always drink after shows – I enjoy their company. It was a lovely end to a manic day – three beers was enough to call it a night, bid adios to R2D, it’s lovely to chat to them on a social setting rather than class… we were all on a high after the show.

I scoffed down a dirty kebab, don’t think I’ll ever get another one of those from the place nearby, it had grit in it. I was starving… it feels horrible inside now. Too late anyway. I had my shower and I’m so ready for bed… it’s nearing 3am so… yes bed. I will sleep like a log!

What a day, what a show, the best one yet I’m told. Really? Well, I’m glad they liked the quality! More to come!

In meantime, zzzzz……..

Dance catch-up

In Dance on January 28, 2016 at 11:55 pm

It’s going well, I’m a little drained but wouldn’t like it any other way, January is already nearing the end. Last week I clocked 7 hours of dance before Friday, this week… I’ve clocked 7 and half hours and that’s only across three days! They were pretty heavy sessions and I find my body coping much better than mind!

Generally I’m sharp and ready, I have memorised and felt my way through the routines – Tap, Contemporary, African Contemporary. Tap – a little worry about maxi-fords, Contemporary – worried about positioning and only one part of the steps. African – worried about freestyle, it’s all a little slow I think in contrast to last year, but we’ll see.

Physically I feel fine, in fact, never better thanks to good hydration (drinking 2ltr. of water before lunch time) and mixed diet, since I started dancing I cooked less because usually it’s too late. I began a routine that stuck, Wednesday is the only day of the week for cooking and one I intend to eat meat on, Thursday is soup day, all the other days consists of a smattering of scrappy meat, plenty of bread and the odd junk like pies and chips supplemented by salad. To be honest, now that I had a thought, it’s not really a good diet. I did stop eating junk food, chocolate, sweets and soda – I guess it sort of balances out? No, maybe not, I’m going to grab some grapes now…

I try and eat healthy, seeds, crackers, fruit juice, milk, almond milk, fresh(ish) produce. It’s making a difference but I do know one thing, I need more meat.

Anyway, dancing. I’m really enjoying it, the past two weeks I had so much focus and mental arithmetic and memorising steps, I’m buzzing from it. Mixed with work and my other tasks, I can’t believe how quickly January disappeared. I’m positive for 2016, and there’s a renewed confidence in my dancing. Flamenco is the next one on the agenda – I can’t get comfy already, need to step up!

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